Healthful Initiative

Dairy checkoff launches new 3-A-Day of Dairy weight-loss campaign.
With the help of a nutrition study on dairy’s role in weight management recently published in Obesity Research, a leading scientific journal, dairy producers have launched an integrated 3-A-Day of Dairy weight-loss marketing and nutrition education effort funded by the national dairy checkoff program.
The study shows that when cutting calories to lose weight, three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day actually help people burn more fat and lose more weight than just cutting calories alone. In early September, the dairy checkoff launched an integrated program that leverages numerous dairy manufacturing, retail and health professional partners to educate the public and increase the consumption of dairy products.
The 3-A-Day of Dairy program includes retail promotions, national television and print advertising, Inter-net communications, public relations and health professional educational outreach.
“The ability to show the public that three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt as a part of a calorie-restricted diet helps with weight loss is a tremendous opportunity for dairy producers and the entire dairy industry,” says Paul Rovey, an Arizona dairy producer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), the organization that manages the national dairy producer checkoff.
The cornerstone of the program is a new 3-A-Day of Dairy logo that highlights the new weight-loss benefit associated with milk, cheese and yogurt products. It incorporates the existing 3-A-Day logo along with the claim “burn more fat, lose weight” and a context statement to further explain the science.
Currently, 3-A-Day of Dairy retailer and branded dairy manufacturing partners are using the logo on qualified milk, cheese and yogurt packaging, in-store promotional signs, newspaper feature ads, direct mailers and other merchandising support.  df
Victor Victorious
World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest announces Grand Champion.
Blaser’s Premium Cheeses’ Mild Wisconsin Brick was selected as the Grand Champion of the World Dairy Expo (WDE) Championship Dairy Product Contest. This competition, sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA), received cheese, butter, fluid milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream and frozen yogurt entries from throughout the United States, with an equal number of entries coming from Wisconsin plants and plants from other states.
“We are extremely happy with the positive response we received from dairy manufacturers throughout the United States,” says Brad Legreid, WDPA executive director. “Consider­ing it’s only the second year for this contest, the quantity and quality of entries we received reflected a high level of interest in this new contest.”
The organization says the WDE Championship Dairy Product Contest was designed to offer a number of positive benefits. The contest is the only national judging competition of its kind in the United States to include a comprehensive variety of dairy products. This inclusive nature allows dairy manufacturers the unique opportunity to compete in a prestigious, all-dairy national contest.
Entries were submitted by companies, not individuals, allowing all company employees the opportunity to support and celebrate their entry’s success.
WDPA held the judging on September 8 and 9 at the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Culinary School and September 10 at UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall. These locations proved to be very successful venues for the contest judging. “MATC and UW were very supportive of this contest,” says Legreid. “By having the judging at the MATC Culinary School, over 70 chef-trainees were afforded the unique opportunity to closely observe and interact with the contest judges throughout the day.”
On September 28, the contest’s auction was held at World Dairy Expo in Madison. All category first-place winners were auctioned off following WDPA’s annual Cheese & Butter Evaluation Clinic.
A portion of the proceeds from the contest auction were donated directly to the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s (PDPW) Education Foundation. This donation supports PDPW in its efforts to assist current and beginning producers achieve success in dairy farming.
For a complete list of contest winners, visit www.wdpa.net.  df
Debates Continue
MILC program becomes political football for presidential campaigns.
The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) direct subsidy program has become a hot topic in the presidential campaign, with both Republicans and Democrats looking to shore up support in key dairy states as election day approaches.
In an intense war of words during early October, the campaigns of President George W. Bush and U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) declared their candidates’ support for extending MILC for two more years; each side believes the Midwestern dairy farmer vote will help its candidate win on November 2.
In the meantime, Congress — the governmental branch in charge of any changes to MILC — has recessed until mid-November so its members can go home to campaign for themselves and their presidential candidate of choice.
Legislation authorizing the MILC extension was inserted into an appropriations bill for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development; that bill is awaiting action by the full Senate. Some lawmakers opposed the move, noting the extension would cost $2.4 billion and arguing MILC does not need to be reauthorized now because the program doesn’t expire until September 30, 2005. In fact, six prominent senators from western states have written to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee to formally protest the insertion of this “contentious amendment.”
“The dairy industry would benefit from a more unified, market-oriented approach to dairy policy, rather than continuing another layer of government subsidies,” says Chip Kunde, senior vice president for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
The MILC controversy began last month, when media reports started circulating that an April presentation given by a staff member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested that the Bush administration might eliminate MILC or institute some type of “milk tax” on dairy farmers due to budgetary concerns.
“If that’s George Bush’s plan, he should come clean and tell Wisconsin’s farmers the truth now — not wait until they go to the polls in November,” Kerry said in a statement.
The office of USDA Secretary Ann Veneman immediately refuted the claim. “The administration has no plans to impose a milk tax or cut support prices in any year. Period,” the secretary’s office reported.
Veneman noted the staff economist who gave the presentation had no authority to set policy for the department or the administration. She also alleged Kerry was playing politics in order to divert attention from his prior support of the Northeast Dairy Compact.
In his October 7 address to a Wisconsin audience, President Bush stated his support for extending MILC for two more years, saying he will work with Congress to reauthorize the program “so Wisconsin dairy farmers and dairy farmers all across the country can count on the support they need.”
The president’s remarks were delivered right before a new television ad launched in Wisconsin by the Democratic National Committee alleging a “secret plan” by the Bush administration to cut MILC would cost the state’s farmers millions of dollars.
For more information, visit www.idfa.org.  df
Milk and Politics
The Chicago Tribune reported last month a senior economist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come under fire from Democrats and government watchdogs for suggesting that the Bush administration could maximize votes in key dairy states by keeping milk prices high during the election.
Larry Salathe, a 27-year veteran of the USDA, also suggested his agency would hold off on policies that could anger dairy farmers — including proposing a new milk tax on them and eliminating a prices support program — until after the election, according to the report by the Tribune’s Washington bureau.
His comments, which critics contend may violate government ethics rules, came from an April 20 PowerPoint presentation to the American Dairy Products Institute in Chicago. The presentation only recently gained public attention.
One of  Salathe’s first slides was titled “USDA 2004 Goals and Objectives,” and included a drawing of an elephant and donkey boxing. The presentation went on to say the agency’s goal was to attract the maximum number of votes from major dairy states including California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Michigan.
The next slide explained this could be done by maintaining “strong milk prices through market fundamentals, supportive policy actions,” the Tribune reported.
In an interview in September, Salathe insisted his presentation was an “informational” speech, not a political one.
Contest Judges
Head Judge: Marianne Smukowski, Wisconsin Center for Dairy ResearchAssistant Head Judge:  Dr. Robert Bradley, UW-Madison Food Science
Cheese
Mark Johnson, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research
Steve Kappelen, Sargento Foods
Ken Neumeier, Wisconsin Aging & Grading Cheese
Noreen Ratzlaff, USDA
Butter Michael Pederson, WDATCPMatt Siedschlaw, USDA
Cottage CheeseDoug Allen, BrotechDon Tribbey, Danisco
Ice Cream/Frozen Custard
David Hoyda, Continental Custom Ingredients
Connie Kellogg, Hansen’s Dairy
YogurtTonya Birkrem, Dean FoodsTim Noll, Morningstar Foods
Fluid MilkTom Keel, Foremost Farms USAJane Zeien, Kerry Ingredients